According to reports, Malik Fitts and Jordan Ford will join the Clippers in training camp. The duo were teammates at Saint Mary’s last season and went undrafted last night in the 2020 NBA Draft.
Fitt’s, a 6’8″ combo forward, announced his move on twitter:
Ford’s addition came minutes later via Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes:
Fitts, who is 23 years old, averaged 16.5 points and 7.1 rebounds per game last season while shooting 40.8% from three (he shot 40.6% the year prior). He’ll need to effectively utilize his lateral quickness and increase his volume from deep to develop into an NBA player, but it’s a good sign that he’s already got that quickness and solid shooting numbers in college. The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie had him 75th overall on his big board, grading him as a two-way contract player, and he was 80th on ESPN’s big board. He’ll likely compete for a two-way deal, with 55th overall pick Jayden Scrubb and current two-way prospect Amir Coffey the favorites to nab those two spots. Short of that, expect him to spend time with the Clippers in training camp before joining Agua Caliente.
Ford is legitimately one of the best pure scorers in the draft, but a lot of things stood in between him and being selected. He’s a small guard at 6’1″, playing for a smaller (but still well-respected) program at Saint Mary’s, and he’ll turn 23 next spring. He’s also not really enough of a distributor to be a point guard at 6’1″, and his size will keep him from being a plus defensively in the NBA, so there’s enough downside to keep teams away. But back to the scoring–he is a polished three-level scorer who finishes well at the rim for a tiny guard, tortures defenses with high-efficiency floaters and pull-ups, and shot over 40% from three each of the last three seasons. As a junior he scored 21.1 points per game, slightly increasing to 21.9 per game as a senior and earning all-conference honors each year. He was 73rd on Vecenie’s big board and 96th on ESPN, and should face a similar path with the organization as Fitts: a training camp deal where he tries to earn an end-of-bench open roster spot (like Derrick Walton Jr. last year, if a spot is open again this year) or impress the staff enough to displace one of the presumptive two-way guys. Otherwise, he’ll be with Agua Caliente as an unrestricted free agent.
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